Senior Spotlight: Justin Neally
I’ve studied sport management because I have a passion for sports. Through this pursuit, I feel like God led me to the opportunity of combining both my love of sports and heart for ministry in serving the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
- How did you find Axiom, and how did God use it in your life?
Well, being the Axiom old timer that I am, I actually found Christian Campus Fellowship first. A gentlemen who grew up in my home town became aware of my interest in the University of Illinois and told me about his experiences living in the Christian Campus House and being involved in the ministry there. I thought it sounded like a great place to grow in Christ. Since I first came to Axiom, it’s been a tremendous blessing seeing what God has done and is continuing to do through this ministry. Personally, Axiom has opened me up to a world of experiences, both here on campus and abroad. I have had the opportunity serve in Taiwan, Los Angeles, and Romania as a missionary. I’ve been a part of campus-wide service projects and outreach events and I’ve grown spiritually through the incredible teaching and discipleship Axiom offers. Plus, I can’t even begin to describe all the fun I’ve had a long the way.
- What are you up to now; do you have any plans in the works for the future?
Currently, I am serving on staff with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. My hope is to further my degree, either in graduate school, seminary, or both, with a goal of serving in full-time ministry either with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes or as a pastor.
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
Wherever God leads me. Wherever that may be, I pray it involves serving Him, loving life, and starting a family.
- Favorite college experience?
Beating Michigan State in basketball my Junior year, and rushing the court with the Orange Krush.
- What will you miss most about Axiom?
Are you trying to make me emotional right now? 🙂 Honestly, a lot of things. I’ll miss my Thursday evening escape from the busyness of life. I’ll miss incredible worship in a room reminiscent to the size of my garage. I’ll miss witnessing Aaron Bird preaching with so much passion that he not only takes his audience’s breath away, but his own. I’ll miss popping in Ben Wood’s office, stealing his candy, and sharing my heart knowing he wants nothing more than for me to know that I am loved. I’ll miss the good times with Mary Baird and wondering how a woman so small could have so much energy and joy for life. I’ll miss seeing Gary Umphrey serve others with a heart so big it shouldn’t realistically be able to fit in his body. I’ll miss Zach Duncan occasionally letting a fart slip during prayers, Rusty Reichman catching squirrels in the trash can, Joe Matuch wearing Rockawear, John Geyer singing “Dead Puppies”, Myles Womack’s magic tricks, Ryan Mathews being allergic to blue jeans, John Edwards dancing, John Stef’s cooking, and Justin Pettit falling off the top bunk. I’ll miss the karaoke nights, the Battles of the Sexes, the retreats, and the endless servant leader meetings. I’ll miss saying goodbye to my home away from home, but I’ll praise God for the lifelong family its given me.
- Words of wisdom, caution, etc?
This campus and this ministry gives you so many opportunities to get involved. In whatever you do, pour your heart, soul, and mind into it and God is going to bless your efforts abundantly. Don’t spread yourself too thin with thousands of activities. Do what your passionate about and do it with all of you.
One day an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus by asking him this question: “Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus replied, “What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?” The man answered, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.” And, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” “Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live!” (Luke 10:25-28)
Justin Neally, Graduated: May 2011